Is there anything wrong with getting engaged in a Walmart parking lot? Or how about the bride and groom sporting black and gold tees to their wedding and tying the knot at the funeral of the groom’s uncle?
If you’re Reggie Wade and Monique McMillan-Wade, getting hitched in the presence of a dead body just means you’re staying true to the promise made to the man lying in the coffin, reports Philly.com.
Wade’s uncle, Gregory “Chips” Scott (pictured), 55, who was gunned down on Feb. 27 outside of his West Philadelphia home by his own cousin and another unidentified man, had promised to walk Monique, 29, down the aisle for her planned nuptials. Monique’s own father had passed away years earlier and she was so looking forward to having Scott take her dad’s place on her special day.
According to Wade, his family is big on keeping promises so he and his bride decided to uphold the family’s honorable long-held belief system but took it to an entirely bizarre level. Wade told Philly.com, “This was the last time his presence was gonna be here with us, and he promised me,” Wade said. “It’s like I got to live up to my word. We never lie to each other. ”
The funeral procession for the slain and much-beloved man was so large, 2,000 people were in attendance, along with several drill teams which resulted in the closing of four city blocks in the “City of Brotherly Love.”
Wade and Monique, who have been together for eight years and have three children together, had originally planned to hold their wedding at a chapel before April. But when Scott got shot, they made the decision to honor him with a funeral that was unique.
The funeral service was four hours. Scott, who was once a young West Philly gangbanger, had turned his life completely around by becoming a cherished community leader and drill master. He was allegedly killed over a longstanding dispute involving James Hiller, 25, and his cousin, James Scott III, 47. On the day Scott was killed, he went to his mother’s home and told his cousin to stop drinking and to put an end to his alleged drug sales on her porch. James took offense to Scott’s warning and shot him several times in the face.
Towards the end of the funeral service, attendees were taken aback at the announcement of the wedding. “You had some gasps and you had some laughter because folks knew, ‘who else would do this?'” said Caleb Johnson, the service’s presiding minister of Philadelphia’s First Corinthian Baptist Church and the brother of Scott’s widow, Alfreda Johnson-Scott, who spoke with Philly.com.
Wade and Monique, who wore black and gold tees with Scott’s picture plastered across the front, exited their pew and went to stand in front of the casket as Johnson administered their wedding vows. After the ceremony, the couple was overwhelmed by a sea of well-wishers.
Meanwhile, Philadelphia homicide detectives have filed murder charges against James and Hiller for the shooting death of Scott.